Saturday, March 19, 2011

Education is an Atmosphere

I homeschool my kiddos. To tell you the truth I've always wanted to, even before they made an appearance! There is something so special to me about watching their eyes light up and wondering what invention or picture or story they will come up with next. Now... almost eight years later I'm also thankful I found the writings of Charlotte Mason. She has inspired our homeschool like no other earthly philosopher. Lately, thanks to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival, I have been pondering one of her more quoted statements... Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.

Atmosphere can mean so many different things. For the purposes of this post, I want to talk about the legacy of a beautiful atmosphere.

Even though I am a good six inches taller than her, my grandmother dwarfs me. After a recent visit, I was struck by how amazing she is. I have wonderful memories of her ALWAYS greeting us as we walked into her apartment. She was right there with a hug and a smile. Her house smelled of cookies, or choco-roos (if you don't know what these are you need to find out), or roast and noodles. She went shopping with my sister, my mom, and I for fall clothes. We used to giggle our way through the stores and never understand how blessed we were. There has never been a moment that she did not make me feel welcome and delighted in... just because I was her granddaughter. In fact, she still makes me feel that way and now she's created that same experience with my children.

Because of such a blessed example, my mother has been immersed in this atmosphere. Now she delights in my children the way my grandma delighted in me. She prays for them, loves them, and spoils them rotten. She always has a smile of welcome and takes every chance she can to spend time with them. My children are not an imposition to her or a bother. They know she loves them to pieces.

Thanks to the godly influence of these two women, I am excited (at least when I'm not hormonal :) ) to spend time with my children. I can't wait to hear their jokes and just share life with them. I can only imagine what an amazing joy my grandchildren will be. In a world where children are pushed to the side and seen as inconvenient, I have been blessed by an atmosphere of love... I thank Jesus for such a great legacy.    

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lost Baby...

Today I lost my baby. I hate that term. Loosing something involves not knowing where it is. Like I lost my kid in a grocery store. Or Walmart. And hey, I’ll admit… I’ve almost done that once with my oldest birth son, Wesley. He’s always been a wanderer and thankfully he talked to everyone he met. Someone realized he was alone and returned him to us. Disaster averted.

But this is different. I “lost” my baby, but I know right where he is. He’s still inside of me. At least I think the baby was a “him.” I saw him today. Arms. Legs. Head. But no heart beat. He died last week. I didn’t know. What kind of mom doesn’t know when something happens to her baby? I know, I know, he’s inside of me and I had no way of knowing. But still… I’m his mom, I should have known something.

I realize he was only ten weeks old and lots of people think it’s no big deal. He never came out and I never really got a chance to know him. But he’s still mine. He was still real, at least to our family. We’d already planned his bedroom and how to rearrange the rest of the kids so we’d all fit in the car.

I realize I have four kids and this one was number five. Lots of people probably think I should be thankful for the kids I have and move on. I am thankful for them. They’ve been incredible today. Lots of hugs. Weird questions that only kids can ask.

I’m avoiding the phone like the plague. I’m not ready to talk. But I cry. And cry. And cry. And my poor husband just hugs me. He’s a good man. So why am I writing here? Well… I figure anyone who actually read this thing has long since given up that I’d ever post again. Consequently, there’s not much (if any) audience out there. I had to put my heart out there somewhere and get this noise out of my head.

My “procedure” is tomorrow. At least they’ll knock me out. I can appreciate that much. My distended belly will soon go away and there will be nothing left but a grainy black and white picture of my little man. No handprint. No video. Nothing much to commemorate his short life.

But he’s not lost. I know right where he is.

With Jesus.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Reflections from a darkened McDonalds

I’m not sure what the first sign of addiction is or how I missed it. In fact, I’m so far gone I don’t even see the signs. Until yesterday. I went to McDonalds to write. Weird, I know! When I have a Starbucks, a Panera, and quaint little coffee shops, how do I end up at McDonalds?

Diet Coke.

It’s all about the Diet Coke. I love it. Seriously. From the first tart taste to the bubbles sliding down my throat, I’m totally addicted. So yesterday, I’m at McDonalds and the lights go out. Yep. A little creepy. In McDonalds. In the dark. And all I can think is… I wonder if the soda machine is still working.

I think I’ve lost my mind. It’s Diet Coke.

I went to McDonalds to reflect on last year. To write about what I’m hoping for this year. And yes, as always, it includes a Diet Coke. But it’s so much more.

1) I’m learning to be brave. Not because I can trust in me, but because I can trust in God. He has good plans for me. I don’t say that lightly, because I have all I want. I say it because it’s true.
Things I want, but might never get…
My little girl from Guatemala
My little Pete to read
A book Contract
Speaking Engagements

2) I’m learning to love. Not because everyone is giving me what I want, but despite it. I’ve spent the past eleven years using my husband and calling it love. If I do the dishes and take care of his clothes, he’ll…No more! Jesus gave up all rights of being God and came to serve. How can I claim to be His and not have the same attitude?

3) I’m learning to live in the grace that is mine in Christ. Am I going to get all of this right? Are you kidding? I’ll probably screw it up the minute I get up from my chair. But God’s good favor is not dependent on my behavior. I’m totally messed up. But I’m hanging onto the cross until I get splinters crying “I’m Yours. Save me.”

So, yep, God brought all of this up, while I sat in the dark at McDonalds—obsessing over a Diet Coke. I need a real passion. An addiction that matters. He reminded me of a song. I think it will be an anthem for me this year. My prayer…

Give me one pure and holy passion.
Give me one magnificent obsession.
Give me one glorious ambition for my life.
To know and follow hard after you.

To know and follow hard after you.
To grow as your disciple in the truth.
This world is empty pale and poor
Compared to knowing you my Lord
Lead me on that I might run after you
Lead me on that I might run after you.